Nebraska Football: Assistant Coaches That Mike Riley Should Be Targeting

Erin Sorensen@erinsorensenContributor IDecember 12, 2014

LINCOLN, NE - DECEMBER 5:  Mike Riley, newly hired head football coach at the University of Nebraska, talks with members of the media during a press conference inside Memorial Stadium December 5, 2014 in Lincoln, Nebraska.   (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Mike Riley is slowly but surely building his staff at Nebraska. While fans are growing impatient, it's a process that shouldn't move too quickly if Riley wants to ensure the best people are put in place.

He recently announced the addition of four assistants from his Oregon State staff. Those include defensive assistants Mark Banker and Trent Bray, offensive assistant Mike Cavanaugh and special teams expert Bruce Read, per Huskers.com. No coordinators have been appointed as of now, but it's a sign that Riley is working to assemble his staff as quickly as he can.

That doesn't stop the wondering, though. Who could he be targeting? Does he have anyone new in mind? The questions go on and on.

There are certain people Riley should be targeting. A good group of experts could help get Nebraska over the hump and back into championship consideration. So, who are those possible assistant coaches?

First, there's the very popular choice of former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron. Tom Lemming of CBS Sports excited Nebraska fans when he tweeted that Orgeron was very interested in the position.

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When Riley learned that Orgeron was interested, he originally called it "pretty neat," per the Omaha World-Herald. He went on to say that adding Orgeron was a "good idea."

However, Orgeron has yet to hear from Nebraska, per the Omaha World-Herald. It's disappointing to hear that for Husker fans, but it's unclear if that means Orgeron is completely off the table. It's ultimately Riley's team and his decision to make, but adding Orgeron could really enhance the Nebraska staff.

For example, Orgeron is a fantastic recruiter. Lemming even called him one of his top 10 recruiters that he's covered.

With so many open head coaching jobs, Orgeron may be hard to snag. However, he could easily step in as the defensive line coach (and possible co-defensive coordinator, depending on the situation with Banker) and really elevate Riley's staff.

If Orgeron doesn't work out, Ohio State's Chris Ash could be a potential target. He's currently the co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach. Both Louisville's Todd Grantham and Clemson's Thomas Venables could be possible big hires. It definitely depends on what Riley plans to do with Banker at Nebraska, but these men could all be great for the Huskers.

Another coach that is on fans' radars from the offensive coordinator position perspective is Oregon's Scott Frost. A quarterback for the Huskers from 1995-1997, Frost is a beloved man in the state of Nebraska. Beyond just that, he's been very successful for the Ducks.

However, a source told Rich Kaipust of the Omaha World-Herald that Frost isn't in Nebraska's plans. So if not Frost, then who?

A possible offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach could be Danny Langsdorf. The current quarterbacks coach for the New York Giants, Langsdorf worked with Riley at Oregon State from 2005 to 2013. Langsdorf was Riley's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during that time, which means the two know how to work with one another.

Mike Johnson, former UCLA offensive coordinator, could also be a name Riley should consider. The two worked together for Oregon State in 1997 and the San Diego Chargers in 2000, so they are familiar with one another.

Johnson is currently a head coach for a high school in California. He was the interim head coach for the Bruins in 2011 for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl but was not retained when Jim Mora was hired.

Both Johnson and Langsdorf would bring a lot of experience to the table for Nebraska, which is something Riley needs at offensive coordinator as he works to build the Huskers' offensive identity. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he has a relationship of some kind with both.

The next month will be very interesting as Riley begins to put his staff together. The names listed above are only a handful of the potential candidates Nebraska should pursue. What's important is that the Huskers find experts at each role. It also wouldn't hurt to have a couple be big names in the coaching community.

Only time will tell what direction Riley will go. However, with the resources available, there's no reason not to go big.

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